George Bernard Shaw once said, “There are three things I’ll never forget about America – Niagara Falls, the Rocky Mountains and Amos 'n' Andy.”
Amos ‘n’ Andy was the story of two black characters—the modest, pragmatic Amos and the blustery, self-confident Andy—created by two white actors, Freeman Gosden and Charles Correll. The characters first aired as Sam ‘n Henry on Chicago’s WGN in 1926. In 1928, the duo went to rival station WMAQ as Amos ‘n’ Andy.
By 1931, Amos ‘n’ Andy had become a national phenomenon, a comedic serial with nearly 40 million listeners. Movie theaters were forced to stop their features each night to pipe in the 15-minute show for their audience. Although Amos ‘n’ Andy’s dialect humor caused much controversy among African-Americans, the show’s appeal during its prime was not restricted to any single race.
From 1943 to 1955, Amos ‘n’ Andy was a weekly situation comedy. The duo hosted The Amos ‘n’ Andy Music Hall from 1954 until their final broadcast on November 25, 1960.
Charles Correll died on September 26, 1972. Freeman Gosden died on December 10, 1982.
Amos ‘n’ Andy was inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame in 1988.